Ebb (grrrr) and Flow

Today I was talking with a friend and feeling very frustrated. I originally started with blaming outside things… but no no, worry not… it was and is always me. My frustration stemmed first from my character defects presenting themselves strongly on this particular occasion, which led to then being frustrated that I was unable to keep my defects from surfacing. What a debacle, right?

So let’s talk. Two things come to mind. We are never, not ever, done working to improve ourselves. And two, whenever our panties are in a neat little knot there is a very good chance we are to blame. Damnit! Right? I hear you!

When you’re undoing things from your past, or are in recovery, or are striving for change there is a journey there that we wish had an ending place… at least I do… or that’s how I behave anyway. So here we are undoing behaviors that, for all intents and purposes, are ingrained in us… strongly and hoping that when addressed and counseled just, poof, disappear. If only. The unfortunate truth is that it will probably take just as long to undo as it was actively ugly. SO…. we do things daily to gently remind ourselves to stay the course. Exhausting, no? Well no because it’s better. It just is. Some days it’s just harder. Harder but doable.

If you’re anything like me then you have a very good “forgetter”…. I can ride high for 2 or 3 weeks after a therapy or life coaching session because in those sessions I am reminded that I am not my past, that the work I’m doing is working magic, and I’m on a beautiful path. BUT after a couple few weeks I start to forget if I’m not doing the things that most benefit me, and I’m off… right back into old thinking. Sigh…. It makes me bat shit that it’s still there. I’ll have my wee pity party of why do I even bother if this is where my head is going to go eventually anyway??… And then when the party ends (which usually means telling on myself to a trusted friend) and I get back on course with meditation, work and reading, things miraculously start to look rosier again. What’s that called…. ebb and flow? Yeah, well if I’m being honest… ebb can kiss my ass. Alas, it’s progress not perfection. No shit on that note!

Okay… what was the other thing?? Oh right… It’s me. Dang namnit… it’s always me. Okay, not always, there are some real assholes out there… but mostly, yep, look in the mirror Einstein, your ego and your fear and your laziness are making everything and everyone the bad guy again. Isn’t that rich?? Ego and fear can make me quit, blame, cry, and crazy. Now that is exhausting.

It’s so much more productive and more pleasant to admit what the hell is going on and ask for help. So why is that so impossible? Well crap, because old behaviors are familiar and even comfortable…. sick as it is. It’s easier to feel those old feelings and respond accordingly than it is to keep propelling in the change. It just is. So we do the tug of war dance with our old self, and with what we’ve learned to help and heal us… and we choose. I’m grateful today that my choice, after my dance, always falls on the growth and change side, but it took a lot of time to get here. I still completely suck at allowing myself to get sucked in to the old stuff, but after some hard work, it’s shorter visits there and quicker recovery. In the end I know what to do, how to do it, what led me there, and what the healthier side looks like. I believe with how different things are today that only more good things are to come.

Never stop healing and improving upon yourself. You’re so very worth it.

 

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Work. Kids. Recovery. Oh My

You know… some days are just easier to balance than others, aren’t they? I swear, if you’re doing all you should be doing in rearing wonderful people, you hardly have time for anything else. If you’re doing all you should be doing to have a super successful team and business, you hardly have time for anything else. If you’re doing all you can to be physically, spiritually, and mentally fit, you hardly have time for anything else. Sooooo how on earth are we supposed to balance it all? Here’s a little mind f*ck for you…. We’re not.

Here’s what I mean… we don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything we would like to do. We just don’t. What we do have time for is scheduling, prioritizing, and doing the next right thing. Because we can’t predict the future, we do the best we can with the way things play out. That’s literally it. Easier said than done… I know I know, I agree.

Some weeks I’m extra itchy (my term for needing a meeting), some weeks my wee people are extra special (my term for them being a right pain in the ass), and some weeks the last thing I feel like doing is placing ads or sending emails. What I do in these situations is sometimes exactly the right thing to do in that given moment that you could write a god damn greeting card about it, annnnnd sometimes you’d question my level of competence at anything at all. What helps to keep me sane though is choosing. Good grief… easily my most frequently used word. Choice. But it covers a whole shit ton of areas, what can I say… But choosing what needs to go where on the calendar, which days, and for how long can make things so manageable that I did in fact question my level of intelligence prior to this concept. Because here’s what happens… the blank spots on the calendar where you get to fill it in leave a whole crap ton of opportunity for balance. If nothing is on the calendar I get to choose what is being left out of the balancing act… Will I read, sleep, eat, watch a movie with the kids, catch up on the ever exploding closets, hit a yoga class, go for a walk, check out a meeting, go on a date with hubs, or sit down with a good friend? Because, see, when you put your life in perspective of a list surrounding appointments, school commitments, meeting commitments, and more the things you get to choose to fill in the blanks can look a lot like a really nice life. Ya dig?

We put so much emphasis on the dread, things like getting to class, writing that paper, reading that chapter, going to that meeting, getting that blood draw, hitting that deadline, running those advertisements, homework, and meal prep that we forget, in comparison, life looks goooood. If your good for you list isn’t longer than your dread list than we really must regroup, reprioritize, and rebalance because that’s a problem. It’s clear evidence that we took our given choices and chose all crazy and out of order.

Some things to look at… are you trying to please too many people? Are you trying to squeeze too many things in a given day? Are you doing enough things for yourself? Are the things you’re doing for others and in a given day for the right reasons? Are you overall healthy? Are you happy? Are you stressed? A balanced life comes from looking at those questions and filling in the scheduled times as well as the blank times with the proper amount of emphasis. Sounds nice, right? It’s like anything, it takes practice. If I have a whole crap ton of work to do one week then I simply don’t go on a coffee date or get up earlier for my walk, or pay a babysitter. If after a crazy week of work I need to get the balance back then the following week I might hit an extra yoga class or have an extra coffee with another friend. See, it’s scheduling but choosing too. Knowing yourself and following through. Doing for others because that’s important too, but making sure that you, yourself are high up on the priority list. Really high.

Balance is such a sweet and healthy word. I can tell you that I have balance in my life today, completely, but it’s messy, never looks the same two days in a row, and is sometimes very heavily weighted on the selfish end. BUT because it’s not a perfect science, totally takes practice, and is going to look different for all of us, I’m ok with my balancing act work in progress status. It feels good to be working at it. It feels good that it’s producing pretty amazing small people, a mighty successful business, and a hefty amount of ever growing spirituality. So do what works for you, include yourself in all of your decision making processes, and keep rocking back and forth until you find your steady ground. It’s there.

http://thesuperaffiliatenetwork.com/the-limitless-leverage-method?sanref=4693&campaign=blog

Arrive

Today I want to talk about mindset. And I’ll tell you why… I’m struggling right now with mine. Not officially, as I always know what to do, emotionally, I’m just not always equipped to do what to do. :p Enter pesky depression that I have talked so much about. I’m steering clear of full throttle depression for the last several months but it teases me a little bit every once in a while.

So, for the most part, I’m the annoying girl that is always insisting that something isn’t so bad, here’s the silver lining, what can you learn from that, stay positive because that breeds more positive. You know, the girl that you don’t want to talk to if you’re looking to celebrate your pity party. Right? I mean I’m really a broken record about it all. It is what I believe at the core of me. (Here’s the dreaded) BUT sometimes, sometimes my day to day real life reality, self doubt, and fear take over and allow me to flail a little bit. I suppose there’s a piece of that that helps me to grow, gives me an opportunity to break a cycle, not repeat a pattern, and practice what I preach, BUT sometimes it’s harder than I would like it to be.

So, for example, we weren’t approved for a new car loan. Now, my positive mindset would say, how incredible is it that you would have even thought that you had come so far, that your credit was improved so much that you could get a car, that the last few years you had your shit so much together that you thought you could get a new car?? That’s amazing!! But instead I was a hot mess of feeling embarrassed, like a failure, extreme disappointment, and just overall pooooor me. Ugh, right? I mean, my current vehicle doesn’t have air conditioning and it is miserable. How can I be expected to keep driving such nonsense? What a brat! I mean, it’s a car, it gets me where I need to go. Everyone should be so lucky. See what I’m talking about here? Grateful but moody. I’m a mess.

Another example is that I’m not where I want to be with my business. I can often let fear stop me from getting there. I can go as dark as thinking that if I’m not where I want to be then I probably don’t have what it takes to get there. That’s bullshit. I know this and yet fear strangles me all the same. Enter feelings of envy, inadequacy, and wanting to quit. Again… thee bullshit! That’s just me talking myself into taking the easy way, the old pattern way, the hey if I don’t try then I can’t fail way. Gross. Get to work, woman.

Here’s what I’m trying to say…. Don’t stop believing in yourself. Don’t ever stop. That’s one of the only things I can confidently say about my journey. I never, ever quit all the way or forever. I’ve tried. I’ve come close but at the end of the day, the one thing I can say in terms of being a success is that I never, ever stop getting up. That is enough some days. You know those days? When it’s enough that your kids had three meals and you didn’t burn one of them  (the meals, not the kids)? :p Yep, some days that’s all I’ve got. But on a very good day, I educate myself on myself, I work hard on my business, I enjoy my children instead of wanting to strangle them, 😉 I practice self care, I try to give back, and I eeek my way back to my positive line of living. It isn’t easy. Shit, life is full of a crap ton of responsibilities, some drama if you fall victim, hardships, and hurt. It’s important to process all of it, and we all may have different ways of doing that, but if, in the end, you come full circle back to you then you’ve done it right. Whatever that looks like for you specifically then you’ve done it right. My fear of failure and hardwork combined lol keeps me working hard but I do. I must.

When I first began recovery I absolutely hated some of the continuous sayings being flung at me. I hear them so differently now that I have a little bit of wellness under my belt. “This too shall pass.” WHAT?? Did you not hear me? I’ve got a major, real life problem right here, right now! I don’t need you sweeping it under the rug with some air quotes. Maaan! Now when I hear this very saying, this too shall pass, it gives me encouragement. It’s a relief. Nothing is forever. Whatever is disastrous, trying, or miserable will not ever remain in it’s current state forever. That’s amazing and a huge relief. Right?! Things being in constant motion allows us endless opportunities to practice how best to respond, react, and deal with what is presented to us. What a relief of a perspective. I’m never doomed. I never just have the worst luck. I’m not always stuck. I get to pave my path AND how I’m going to perceive it. Sometimes I do those things beautifully, sometimes hideously…. the point is that I’m doing it. I’m sometimes sailing over to the other side and sometimes clawing my way, but I will always arrive. Arrive. Any way you can. It’s going to be ok.

Cease Fighting

I have been thinking a lot about surrendering and letting go lately. How they’re the same but different. How you can do one but not the other. How, like so many of the things I talk about, they can be defined as uniquely as the person themselves.

I was in a coaching session last week and it was suggested that I find out what surrendering means to me, and to actively let go of things as they arise in my mind, pertaining to healthy things I may be resisting. This has been on my mind a lot this time. Often my assignments are such that I don’t have to focus too much, I just do it and am happily surprised with the results, but this has had my mind a spinnin. I’ll tell you why.

In recovery, we talk of surrendering as ceasing fighting anyone and anything. Turning my will and my life over to something so much bigger than my damn self. As I expand on this I must tell you that this is very powerful in me. I didn’t know it until I started typing, but tears flood my eyes as I do.

Surrendering sounds so defeating doesn’t it? It sounds like giving up, losing, throwing in the towel, dare I say… failure. Well, no! Quite the contrary. Gooooodness, if I could only translate through words and pictures how this saved my life. I can’t. What I can say is that surrendering allowed me an emotional freedom that not many things do. It goes along the same line as acceptance for me. Once I surrendered that I was powerless over alcohol, that I have absolutely no control over other people, that as long as I’m doing my part the rest is really none of my business… well, shit, what a load off, no? I mean, living in that place of constant control over things you really have no control over…. OR trying to control other shit because you can’t control that shit. Yeah… that’s what NOT surrendering looks like. Exhausting. Utterly exhausting. I have to surrender every single day that I am only in control of myself and decide then and there what that looks like. Every. Single. Day. How I parent, work, play, meditate, make my mark on the world, and the legacy that I want to leave behind. That is my surrender. Because isn’t all of that enough, for Pete’s sake? Taking on the other crap… no thanks, I’m goooood.

Letting go… Oh Lordy… letting go. Let’s just say that sometimes this is a minute to minute type thing over here. When you have four kids, letting go can look a lot like “choosing your battles.” Letting go for me is kissing off all the things that don’t serve my health or my happiness. Letting go of regret. YES! Resentfulness, anger, needing to be right, the woulda, coulda, shouldas, the neeeeed to do this, the neeeeed to do that, and expectations. Letting go for this chic looks a lot like living in the moment. I have to practice this constantly, alas it is a wonderful way to live, and I’m extremely lucky to have people in my life that remind me regularly. I’ve even learned to let go of the fact that I need to be reminded of the wonderful ways to live. 😀

LET GO!!! SURRENDER!! It will serve you! If only to preserve energy. There is so much energy involved with holding onto things that hurt and hinder us. The weakness comes in denying the power these things steal from us in getting and being well. I’m so grateful to reserve that energy on things that allow me to continuously evolve into something better. I need all the energy I can get for that. 😉

https://ek258.isrefer.com/go/md/a9914/blog6

Uncovering Empowerment

Empowerment is a tough topic for someone like me. Someone who has had to rebuild, start over, find myself, and gain any sense of power to speak of. The idea of empowerment was but a pipe dream. I mean the first step in recovery says, “I admitted I was powerless over alcohol, that my life had become unmanageable.” But there was a hidden strength in hitting bottom and finding empowerment in vulnerability. Who’d a thunk it? A continuous journey.

Empowerment is going to look a little different to everyone. I say that a lot don’t I? But it’s true. What something looks like to me might be different to you. It’s because we are all individuals, on different paths, with different goals, striving for something wonderful. How we get there is always going to be different in some ways, but empowerment is empowerment is empowerment. Let’s see if we can relate.

I’m not going to speak to empowerment from the perspective of someone emotionally and mentally healthy because I found my empowerment from a place of unwell, so that is where I will start.

Because I wore several masks in my life growing up, clear through to adulthood, I can say with almost certainty that I was not ever empowered. I was too unclear of who I was to have experienced such a thing. In all sincerity, I was so reclusive, insecure, and unsure that I made my way through my days just trying to decide which version of myself I would be. It was exhausting and confusing. Not anything remotely resembling happiness, never mind power of any kind.

So, given such a dark beginning to my emotional and spiritual life, how on earth did I come full circle (the circle continues on and on just fyi)? The answer is simple… not at all easy, but very, very simple. Surrendering. Full throttle surrendering and complete and utter transparency. My empowerment looks a lot like ugly honest acceptance of myself, continuous learning, and constantly seeking growth and change.

Empowerment is personal and inside. So much of what we project on the outside is so very contingent on the care we take on the inside. I feel empowered because I do the never ending but rewarding work of tending to the things about myself that you can’t see. Knowing that I’m gifting myself that absolutely necessary care is beyond empowering really.

Though we’re never just done working on improving ourselves, empowerment can be born in the journey. Educating ourselves, standing up for ourselves, taking care of ourselves, raising good people, being a good friend, and giving of ourselves… that’s empowerment friends. Are you empowered?